ENGL 1310 Assignment Sheet—Close Reading of Primary Text Walker Primary Source: Housekeeping (Marilynne Robinson)
Due: Wednesday 11/07—“Hard copy” of paper at the beginning of class.
Please write a paper of two to four (2-4) pages that is a “character” or “theme” or “structure” argument as it relates directly to what Marilynne Robinson is attempting in her novel Housekeeping. That is, write a paper where you make some definitive argument about a character or theme or “structure” for Housekeeping where your argument ties directly to what Robinson presents or argues in the novel. Use only THE NOVEL as your primary and only source. Use our “focus” worksheets to help you narrow your thesis—focus on scenes and quotes from one chapter. You are providing a “close reading” argument about the novel. Work cited:
Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping. New York: Picador, 1980.
These are “close reading” essays—students develop their own thesis and use brief quotes, longer sentence quotes, and situations from primary text itself to make the argument. DO NOT USE outside or secondary sources for this assignment. These papers should include a “Work(s) Cited” page. Papers should be two to four pages in length. Be direct and specific. In your discussion, you will need to provide a clear thesis statement. Think of the thesis paragraph as a “road map” to your paper. In other words, provide your thesis, present your conclusion(s) and the means by which you plan to examine and discuss the primary text. See syllabus for general format requirements. Use one chapter to focus, and you may refer to another chapter, but the thesis should spring from the major chapter that you are using.
Use third person formal—NO First Person or Second Person. Provide a very clear and specific thesis statement. Think of the thesis paragraph as a road map to your paper. In other words, provide thesis (argument), provide your conclusion(s) and the means by which you plan to examine and discuss these conclusions up front. Place most important information first—you should present your thesis/argument in the first sentence of your thesis paragraph. Use brief quotes, sentence quotes, and long quotes from the text itself—no outside sources or articles required. If you are having problems narrowing your thesis, begin from what is your favorite part of the text or your least favorite part of the text, or who is your favorite character, the most striking character or part to you. Then ask yourself what these parts reflect about the character/characters, the given culture, the people, or what might the author be attempting, or what is the author attempting to show, or what/how does what the author shows the reader/audience reflect upon the culture or the characters. See syllabus for general format requirements. This paper requires a “Work(s) Cited” page. All papers for this course are formal. The choice of your thesis is yours. However, you must use specific lines and instances from the work to support your argument or provide evidence/support for your argument. This paper is a “close reading” assignment. Use MLA 8th Edition Style Sheet.
o Clear thesis—stated immediately
o “Road Map”—thesis paragraph is summary of your argument—what are your conclusions, what
evidence are you using
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